Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lame Bento

Blagh.  Low quality bento.  At least there's a picture.  Featuring mango flavored Ramune!  Yum yum!

Ingredients:  Noodles, Hot pockets[?], Wheat thins, Peanut butter, Homemade strawberry jam, Ramune

Tips:  Pictures!  I have made way more bentos than I have posted.  I tend to deem some unworthy of pictures, but they all are!  At least for documentation purposes...

Quail Egg Bento

The asian food market I shop at finally stocked some quail eggs!  Once I decided to buy some I wasn't able to get any for a few months.  This is a super simple bento, but it allowed me to try a new food.  They were pretty delicious when they were boiled, but not too different from normal eggs.

Larger Image

Ingredients:  Noodles, Celery, Little sausages, Quail eggs

Tips:  Research new foods.  I had to search for a while before I found how long most quail eggs should be boiled.  If I had just tried to wing it there would have been much epic failure x_x.

Sanrio: Hello Kitty Birthday Bento

It's been so long!  This is from November 25th, my birthday.  I finally made a Hello Kitty bento!!  There was more to this bento, like snacks in Hello Kitty containers, but this is the only picture I have.  Couldn't even find my camera, so I had to use the mac.

I used no reference picture. The image wouldn't resize on Blogger. So today we have a Larger Image.

Ingredients: Noodles, Peanuts, Cherry tomatoes, Licorice, Peanut M&Ms

Tips:  Take those risks.  I was worried my Hello Kitty would be low-quality.  It was.  But it still made me ultra-happy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bento of Myself

Wow- I've had quite the hiatus. As it turns out 5 AP classes, robotics, and bento doesn't mix. Guess which one got left behind? Yep, bento. I have been making myself bentos when I find the time, but I rarely get a chance to snap a picture of them; it's even less frequent that I find/make time to post them. Bleghh.

This one is from a while back, I'm tempted to say I made this about a month ago. It's supposed to be me, although the only thing that vaguely resembles me is the parting of hair at the side.

Ref Pic

Ingredients: White bread, Ham, Celery, Nori

Tips: Artistic License. My hair isn't this color. My skin isn't this color. My smile doesn't look like that. But it was easier [and cooler looking] this way.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pokémon: Diglett

Oh man.  I didn't even straighten the eyes.  This was a rushed day...
So I've been going to this Asian market in a nearby town.  It's awesome.  I'm addicted to the Shanghai noodles.  Both for taste and price- 75 cents provides me with at least four meals.  (Not including meats and veggies, of course.)  I plan on purchasing some quail eggs before school starts.  I'll try to work them into a future bento.

Ingredients: Pasta, White Bread Toast, Apple, Nori

Tips: Know your limits.  I shouldn't have even made this.  A simple salad, pasta, meat bento box would have looked so much nicer.  If I had made an effort this could have been great.  I'll try to redeem myself later on in the year...

Pokémon: Oddish

Definitely one of my less spectacular bentos.  This is from way back in summer school...in fact, the first half of it.  I spent the second half of summer school in health, and our class opted to take turns bringing in breakfast foods.  No bentos.  :c  School starts up in less than 2 weeks though, which means good times are ahead!

Ingredients: White Bread, Peanut Butter, Tortilla, Spinach, Food Markers

Tips: Circular characters are good for super-quick bentos.  Seriously.  Kirby, Oddish, Jigglypuff, Spiderman's head, Powerpuff's head.  Food markers + circular tortilla = easy character bento.  (Even though it'll usually look pretty crappy.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pokémon: Chikorita!

I finally prepared something the night before!  I'm trying to re-do my summer/school routine.  I now take showers in the morning, after a quick jog.  This leaves me with a lot less time.  The complete body of Chikorita was done the night before, as a result.
I decided to buy some whole wheat couscous.  I don't notice any difference between regular plain and whole wheat.  Not that this is a reliable observation; given a mystery-flavored lollipop I couldn't even begin to guess what it tastes like...

Ingredients: Whole wheat couscous, Blueberries, Cucumber, Spinach, Tortilla, Pepperoni, Mozzarella cheese

Tips:  REMEMBER YOUR UTENSIL! I forgot a spoon and I was in summer school, which means no cafeteria.  If it wasn't for the summer school nurse I would have starved.  This is a stupid tip...I feel obligated to make another.

Tips:  Use the edge of the cucumber.  Around the outside circumference area you get less seeds.  This may not seem like a big deal, but seeds actually looks really stupid in characters that are supposed to be plain.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sanrio: Chibimaru!

The last day of Sanrio week!  It's been crazy.  I'll probably have another one in the future, but I'd like to check out some other paths first...like Pokemon and Nickelodeon...
I've been thinking about doing character themed weeks.  I absolutely love seeing something cute in my lunch.  The discovery of food markers will definitely help this.  As seen with Chibimaru and Cinnamoroll, it is indeed possible to create ten minute character bentos.  Yaaaay!

Ingredients:  Rice, Apples, Wheat bread pita, Food Markers

Tips:  Wake up early and plan ahead.  Some people make theirs the night before.  I'm a morning person.  This definitely wasn't my best.  Poor quality food marker characters are the product of me sleeping in and not planning my bento out at all in advance.

Sanrio: My Melody!

This bento did not get finished in time for lunch time yesterday.  It's still sitting in my fridge, actually.  I was running really late.  Kinda like I am today.  So this will be quick.

Ingredients:  Rice, Tortilla, Cucumber, Nori

Tips:  Don't buy cheap nori.  I got 50 sheets for $7, which seemed like a great deal.  My dad usually buys the nice ones from Wegmans.  I picked up some from an asian market, all proud of my super-awesome savings.  As it turns out mine smells terrible and falls apart really easily.  *Sigh*  I'll still use it all though.  Waste not, want not!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sanrio: Cinnamoroll!

Yesterday I discovered that we have food markers.  I then was giving the task of making a bento in 15-20 minutes.  This was the result of these two things.
I.  Love.  Food.  Markers.

Ingredients:  Rice, Pepperoni, Tortilla, Food markers (do they count?)

Tips:  If you have no time and want a character bento, create a stencil, cut out the food, use food markers.  Tortilla works.  :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sanrio: Keroppi!

It feels like Keroppi was the easiest of my character bentos, which means one of two things:
1. I'm getting better and FASTER!
2. It was super simple.
Not sure what to say, so I'll take questions.  Doubt I'll get any, but whatev.

Ingredients: Rice, Cucumber, Pepperoni, Mozzarella cheese, Tortilla, Nori

Tips: Stencil, stencil, stencil. I didn't cut my stencil out of the paper today, but having just the drawing there was good for side comparison.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sanrio: Purin!

I woke up bright and early this morning with one plan: make a lunch with a yellow Sanrio character.  I went to the Sanrio website and found that Purin, at the left,  is the only remotely yellow one.

In today's update I'll outline what I actually do to create my flat egg characters.

1.  Scramble 2 eggs together in a bowl.  This is usually too much, but I'd rather have too much than too little.  I use the extra for the rest of my lunch anyway.

2.  Create a stencil.  Some
times I blow the image up on my computer before tracing.  I also note any dark areas on the stencil so I know what portions need to be nori.

3.  Cut out egg and nori.  Nori is dried (toasted?) seaweed.  It's black/green, so it makes good shadows and details.

It could be better, but I was proud of it since the whole lunch took less than an hour.  45+ minutes, I believe.  I the oval hole punch my mom bought from her friend to create the eyes and circle part of the nose.  This definitely cut down on time.  :)  Thanks, mom!  There's a sandwich support Purin, by the way.

Ingredients:  Egg, White toast, Turkey, Lettuce, Plum

Tips:  See above  :P

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Substantial Summer Lunch

I went shopping yesterday.  This is the beautiful, and very filling, result of that.  2 mini PB sandwiches, rice, 2 stalks of celery, and a fortune cookie.  My fortune said something about me having good friends.

Beautiful news, my friends. BEAUTIFUL news.  2 of my washable square cupcake holders fit perfectly into the tootsie roll container.  Althought it does open easily if overfilled.  This morning it jumped out of my lap when my mom made a turn and my chopped up black plum exploded everywhere.

Ingredients: Rice, White bread, Peanut butter, Celery,  Plum, Fortune Cookie

Tips:  Use the small containers lock&locks come with to control sizes in partitioned containers.  This is handy whether or not you plan on using them.  I like neatly divided lunches.

Summer School Snack

First day of summer school was yesterday!  It's exciting; I have ALWAYS wanted to take a course during the summer.
Having a snack for a four hour class (7.45-12) seemed like a good idea.  I threw this together in 5-10 minutes Wednesday morning.  Luckily the school I'm in is air conditioned, so i don't have to worry about anything spoiling.  This snack helped sustain me a little, but I learned that I would need to bring something more substantial for myself, which means THERE WILL BE BENTO UPDATES ALL SUMMER LONG!  :]

Ingredients:  Rice, Blueberries, Celery

Tips: Heat. The. Rice. Up. First.  I personally find rice extremely disgusting if it's been moved from a fridge to room temperature and eaten hours later.  If I pop it into the microwave for maybe 20 seconds first, let it cool for a wee bit (it'll steam up the container if it doesn't), and then package it up, it tastes so much better.  It could just be the brand of rice I use though.

Snack Containers

While in New Jersey I found this store called Five Below, or something like that.  They had a number of less expensive very desirable things.  (Like my $5 Hello Kitty iPod speaker pillow.)  They surprisingly had a decent selection of lunchboxes, but not many metal ones.  This was a bit saddening, as I am a fan of metal lunch boxes.  I have one with G.I. Joe decorating the outside and another with a Dr. Pepper theme.  Oh; I'm digressing.  Anyway.  I found these 3 gems over in their lunch area.  3 plastic snack containers in the shape of the candy printed on them.  They're relatively small, but fantastic for desserts or other small snacks.  Yay me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Adventures in COUSCOUS!

Couscous is possibly the simplest warm dish to create, right?  WRONG.  It's wrong for me anyhow. I think it's finally time for me to chronicle my journeys with this food:

1. I bought couscous, of the instant sort, a few months ago.  One box.  Plain.  I've been told it's stupid to buy it plain because it really needs flavoring.  The first time I made it I was pretty content with it. It looked pretty cute in my lunch though. 0w0

Ingredients: Couscous, Nori Face,  Celery, Cherry Tomatoes, Carrots.

Comment: I bought a bunch of scrapbooking punches from my mom's friend. It's hard to tell but I have a pair of nori lips and 2 nori oval eyes.

2.  I decided to make fruity couscous.  Only with artificial fruit flavorings and no experience.  While the water was boiling I put some red kool-aid, sugar, and pink country time lemonade mix into it.  Unfortunately I hadn't decided to make it fruity until I'd already put some butter and salt in.  This couscous didn't taste 
particularly good.  I brought it to school and ate it anyway though.  Waste not, want not.

3.  Just the other day I decided to make flavorful couscous.  To me this meant a flavor that was moreso spicy than sweet.  So I opened up our cupboard of spices and started sniffing around.  Things like nutmeg and cinnamon go the no-go pretty quickly.  I didn't want my meal to be sweet, not after Adventure in COUSCOUS #2.  I eventually ended up grabbing I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, Salt, Garlic Salt, and Chili Powder.

On another note- I usually put a little more water into these than suggested.  I realize that the companies take evaporation into consideration, but for some reason I usually find myself adding a bit more.  In this case I opted for the 1 cup suggested for 3/4 cups of couscous.  I definitely did not have this much couscous, as you can see in that picture up there.  My theory (shaky justification of my temporary lack of foresight) was that those little pellets would absorb as much as they normally do.  After that they would just stop and the water would roll right off 'em.

The final product of this couscous was a sticky mass with a slightly spicy aftertaste.  I should have had more garlic salt in relation to the chili powder and a LOT more of both overall.  Too much water made it waaay to sticky.  I ate it all, of course, but it was definitely a fantastic learning experience for me.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Super Bento Update

Great success!  I found the camera. Now for the first of a series of updates.  Today's update will explore my lack of camera skills.
Notice the bento in the red cylindrical container. It looks stupid when viewed from above, however artistically I arrange it.  By putting cute little  rapiers in the sandwiches and taking it from a lower angle, I achieve a cooler effect. (I can conceal my lack of creativity in photographing and bento constructing by making two small changes.) I have some more pictures, but I'll save them for another day.

Oh yeah, ingredients: white bread, peanut butter, celery, granola.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I've been grounded from the computer for the last couple weeks. This in addition to the extreme amount of time I dedicate to biking when it's warm is the main reason for my lack of updates. I get on occasionally, but usually it's not long enough to upload all my pics from the digital camera and other such obento adventures. (I should have time for that later this evening.) I have considered making them the night before, but I tend to fall asleep early (~7 or 8pm nowadays).

EDIT: Or not, because I managed to lose the digital camera.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

No Bentos :c

No recent updates, I know. I've been too busy with school/ Robotics/ too lazy to bother. Which is terrible, but I'm going to try to get my lunches back to where they were. Lately they've been Chex cereal, an apple, and a Capri Sun. This has to change...later. (I = Procrastination.) Probably after I recover from the mild cold I currently have.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thursday Bento

Today's lunch.  I had this elaborate breakfast idea, but none of the motivation I would have needed.  The thing in the middle is supposed to be a heart.  Has a cupcake holder with peanut butter in it.

Used: Eggo, Peanut butter, Celery, Grapes

Tips: When taking pictures, feel free to arrange stuff out of the box. I had to lay the celery down to fit it in later, but it looked much better standing up.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

2/26 Bento

Yesterday's Bento.  I had very little time, so I threw some sandwiches together, washed the produce, and tossed them into here.  The blue toothpick/blue cupcake container combo made me happier than it should have, as did the contrast.  I used turkey for the sandwich, because my dad wants me to make sure I get my protein.  He's pretty firm about this, which is good, because otherwise, I'd probably eat fruits and veggies all day long XD

Used: White bread, Turkey, Grapes, Celery

Tips: Yay contrast! This week has been slightly more challenging in this sense, because I picked 2 green produce products.  This shouldn't limit you, just know how to use it appropriately without making your lunches bland.

No Bento Today!

I woke up 30 minutes before I had to leave for school. (Usually I give myself 2 hours.) Everyone thought (or at least hoped) school would be closed due to expected white-out conditions. I quickly prepped myself for the day, just in case I still had to go even though the television displayed no cancellations. (Usually the deadline for their announcement is right when I'm heading out the door.) I had no time for a bento today. In fact, I barely had time to even grab a Capri Sun and shove some peanut butter into a sandwich. I somhow did manage to re-find our digital camera this morning, despite spending about an hour searching for it last night. This means there will still be a bento post later today, it will just be of yesterday's lunch. Sorry for the delay...(Not that anyone really reads this anyway, it's more of an internal apology.)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Back-To-Bento Moday

Phew!  Break was awesome (lotta gaming), but now it's back to school and bento making.  Not a character bento, but I like how it turned out.  Found the digital camera, which DEFINITELY makes it look better.  I used leftover rice, carrots, and filet mignon from last night's dinner at a Japanese Steak House.  Celery bits are in a disposable froggy cupcake holder and  grapes are still on a mini-wine at the top. This wasn't made in 2003.  I made it this morning, my camera just has major date/time issues.

(Haha, I already said this.  Oops.)
Used: Rice, Carrots, Celery, Filet Mignon, Grapes

Tips: Use a digital camera.  And a cool background fabric.  (I used a napkin xD)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Remember that one bento...

Feb. 5th I posted my Pikachu bento. Problem? Reaaally bad camera angle and lighting. My friend took a picture with her phone, and it turned out a lot better. Here it is!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Valentin's Day Bento

Valentine's Day bento, but a bit late.  It was made in 5 minutes, because I was making valentines for my friends up until when I left.  >.<  I slept over a friend's house Thursday night and animated all night, so the update is late.  Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of Friday's bento, which my mother made.  It looked pretty good for her first bento and it tasted good too.

Used: Eggos, Apples

Tips: Uh...have cookie cutters?  They're best for quick bentos.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Winnie the Pooh Bento

Haha!  The last two days didn't go so well in regards to bento-ing, even though one was a snow day.  Leaving the chips and sandwich together in a container overnight was not a wise decision...Anyways.  Winnie the Pooh is an egg cutout, apple shirt, cucumber grass, egg sun.  I considered dying the rice blue, but didn't have time.  Speaking of time, it took me about 10 minutes to do everything for this except make the eggs.  I made those Monday night.  Because it wasn't filled up to the top, everything became jumbled, but I put it together before I ate it.  :]  Oh, it looks soooo much better when it's not at an angle.  Most of my lunches look better when you view 'em from above.  I'm still working on locating our camera...

Used: Rice, Egg, Cucumber, Apple, Licorice

Tips: Uh...do prep work ahead of time if you find yourself lacking minutes in the morning.  It's a stupid tip, but I like to be consistent in everything I write here.  I made the eggs and planned out what I'd do the night before.

Monday, February 11, 2008

3 Minute Monday

Made this while eating breakfast and packing my bookbag.  This was a 3 minute bento, which is why it looks rather plain.  As soon as I took the picture, I ran out to the car just before dad left.  (My dad drives me to school on his way to work everyday.)  We were halfway to school when my cell phone started ringing.  It was mom calling to tell me that school was cancelled.  >.<

Used: White bread, Peanut butter, Banana, Sweet chips, Goldfish

Tips: Stick with it!  I could've just tossed these into ziploc bags, but I stuck with the basic bento setup.  My fatal mistake in September was giving up on the bento style on the days when I had little time and just tossing my food into baggies, which led to my 5 month bento break.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sweet Chips

I went to a local Asian Market yesterday in search of a bento box and cute toothpicks.  Unfortunately, I found neither, and ended up buying some random cool looking chip things.  (Picture is backward.)  It was $3 (no tax?) for the bag and it's a great sugary snack.  Problem?  I have no idea w
hat they're called.  There's a sticker-on food label in english on the back, here's the general info I deem important:
Serving: 1 oz (30 g)
# Servings: 10
Calories: 140
Fat Cal: 60
Ingredients: Wheat flour, Sugar, Palm oil, Starch syrup, Salt
I think it's made by Choripdong and it's a Korean product imported by Seoul Shik Poom Inc.
Here's a close-up:

It has a slight bowl shape, sweet tasting, a swirly thing (looks like it's rolled up with some coating on it), and it's relatively small.  Very delicious though. Very delicious.

Saturday's Snack Bento

Yesterday's snack bento.  I knew was going to be gone from 9-4 animating, and despite the food I'd get I might still be hungry.  I tossed this together in 10-15 minutes.  Mom made mini pancakes, which conveniently fit a flower cookie cutter I had on hand.  The ring around the flower fit nicely into a cupcake thinger.  Grapes have red card toothpicks in 'em.  (Card toothpicks = plastic toothpick with either a club, spade, heart, or diamond on top.)  Extra carrots because I felt like I was spoiling myself with the sugary grapes AND pancakes.

Used: Pancakes, Carrots, Grapes

Tips: Sure, eating the extra food is yummy and can help fill you up a bit, but try to get creative and use the extras every once in a while.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Moon Bento

Another On-The-Go bento that I threw together this morning in 15 minutes.  We ran out of potato bread, so I had to work with white bread my mom picked up this morning, which has smaller slices than potato bread.  I grabbed the flower-like cutter and punched one out of a slice, but found I could only make one ( :o ), which isn't enough for one sandwich.  Quick thinking (and a container of over 100 cookie cutters in the basement) led to me grabbing a crescent which made a snug cut with the bread remaining.   Two of these made me a sandwich, supported and framed by rice chex.  Rubber cupcake holders have my veggies and apples.  Don't be fooled-I only have a few apples on top.  Beneath them is a layer of baby carrots.  Extra white bread was either turned into stars or eaten.

Used: White bread, Peanut butter, Cereal, Broccoli, Carrots, Apples

This was the flower sandwich I made.  I had some extra apple bits as well as this little guy to compliment my lunch. This didn't fit in my lock&lock, so I hid the apples under and upside down cupcake holder and put the flower on top.  I didn't want my bread to become all soggy.

Used: White bread, Peanut butter, Apples (not pictured)

Tips: Stay open minded!  My original 1 flower sandwich per slice of bread didn't work out, so I made two different sandwiches with 2 slices.  My usual 'shove the extras into random tupperware' didn't work out this time either.  As cliche as it is, today's theme is think outside the (bento) box.

Dino Bento

This was yesterday's 15 minutes bento.  2 pieces of potato bread yielded 2 cookie-cutter sandwiches.  Broccoli trees?  I absolutely love fruit, but I keep it at a minimum and treat it as a dessert of sorts.  Baking cup goes all the way to bottom of lock-and-lock, but cereal keeps the (raw) broccoli and sandwiches near the top.  Unfortunately I forgot a spoon... =,=

Used: Potato bread, Peanut butter, Broccoli, Cereal, Apples

Tips: I buy one grain, one veggie, and one fruit each week.  (Notice the common thread's in this week's bentos?)  I make sure I use these main ingredients in my lunch, but I leave other options available.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

SpongeBob Bento

Lightly toasting the potato bread helps keep its shape, but causes some of the yellow to fade (the computer's auto-adjust lighting feature makes it seem bluer too). I used a toothpick to keep the nose up and the bottom of medicine measure to cut out the eyes. The spondgebob sandwich touches the bottom, but I used a layer of cereal to add more to my meal and help the spinach pop out. I had another little container, but it wasn't picture worthy and I didn't have time to snap a shot of it anyway.

Used: Potato bread, Peanut butter, Spinach, Cereal, Cookies, Cheese, Licorice, Nori
Tips: Use your resources! I had a toothpick and a kid's medicine cup (the kind that come on top of children's motrin) lying around in a random kitchen drawer that definitely helped me with this. I've also found that licorice (which is relatively cheap) is great for random character bentos.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Pikachu Bento!

(One of my friends took a much better picture of this for me, I might get that up later.)  Pikachu Bento!  I've seen waaay better bentos of this little pokemon, but I'm pretty proud of how it turned out.  (Mental Note: Brag less in school about lunches.)  I don't know where out digital camera is, so I kinda have to tilt the Mac downwards and the bento upwards, so the picture quality is usually pretty low.  (My scape-goat-ish way of saying it looked better in person.)

Used: Egg, Potato bread, Brocolli, Spinach, Apples, Licorice, Nori, Cheese

The image is small, sorry.  It's just an arrangement of the extra stuff I had but still wanted to eat. Sadly, I have yet to purchase an actual bento box.  This is kind of like my 'second tier.' (Bentos generally come as semi-tupperware-esque containers that have multiple tiers that stack up with each other, allowing for more foods.)  My favorite part of this is that dark blob on the right.  It's an egg I fried, rolled up, stuck a wavy purple lettuce-like leaf on the outside of, and then skewered with 3 orange toothpicks.

Used: Eggs, Spinach, Apples

Tips: When making a character bento out of an egg remember that you want it to stand out.  Rice has depth, but eggs don't.  Beneath the pikachu I had two slices of lightly toasted potato bread cut-outs of pikachu.  Also, don't make cut-outs without a reference!  I copied a picture off the internet, cut it into a stencil, and used that.  Once you've cut something off, it's gone!

Shark Bento?

My return to the wonderful world of bento was not quite as smooth or glamorous as I imagined.  This is my first bento of the '08 year as well as my first in 5 months.  Yesterday's 'Jaws' themed lunch didn't work out too well...Mr. Sharkie's eyes are raisins near the middle, nostrils on top, disfigured mouth at center.  He's supposed to be, like, leaping out of a sea of broccoli...or something like that.

Used: Potato bread, Turkey, Spinach, Broccoli, Apples, Raisins

Tips: Potato bread is hard to cut into shapes with a knife when in its' normal state.  I highly recommend lightly toasting it first or avoiding this type of bread altogether.

The Bentos Return

Batman took his leave, as did I.
Despite the last two posts being recent,
The bentos had been processed long ago.
Now, 5 months later, I have returned
To my bento-making ways.

Next-Gen Bentos

By this point, still in Sept. '07, I began shooting for shapes. This one was intended to looks like a flower.  (Apples petals, bread center, celery stalk and leaves.)  It was skimpy, but a notable first step.

Used: Wheat bread, Apples, Celery.

If you can't really tell what this one is, that's probably a good sign  To the left there's a rice bear with celery eyes and a celery smile.  The one major downfall of this bento is the overwhelming lack of color.  On the brighter side, the bear looked pretty cute in person and the format itself was new for me.

Used: Rice, Pistachios, Celery, Apples

The bunny brought together a number of my skills and proved that I had been gradually learning my self-taught lessons.  The animal/grass combination seems to work well.  There were clementines (a fruit that contrasts the white of rice) placed atop
pistachios to provide pizzazz.  Additionally, I am quite content with the appearance of the diagonal layout.  (Despite the fact that it was a matter of necessity, not style.)

Used: Rice, Celery, Pistachios, Clementines :]

Tips:  If you don't have sticky rice (or the money for it) use a cookie cutter to hold the shape you want instead!  Just realize that if the cookie cutter is more shallow than the container, and it could spill a bit.